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How to Find a Rental You Can Afford – An Apartment Hunter’s Guide

How to Find a Rental You Can Afford – An Apartment Hunter’s Guide
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There are many reasons why people rent apartments. Some people rent them because the average rents are lower than other housing options. Then there are those who like the idea of community living and the recreational opportunities an apartment complex may offer. And some people just rent them because they have no other options. Whatever your reasons might be, here are some useful tips to help you find the perfect apartment to meet your price and your needs.

Location – You probably want to find a place that is centrally located to your work, school, or favorite hang outs. What good would it do to find a good rental price if you end up spending the money you saved on fuel? Not only that, but the additional driving time would add to your costs.

Amenities – Make sure the apartments you are considering have all the extras you need. For example, if you must have a tennis court in your complex to ensure you stay fit, then you should only look for apartments that have them. On the other hand, if a complex has amenities you don’t need, you might want to look elsewhere to save money.

Living space and decor – Figure out exactly how much space you need and try to stick to it. Keep in mind that extra, wasted space will cost you extra, wasted money. The same thing goes for decor. Some apartments come with fancy designs and vaulted ceilings. If you don’t really have to have those, you will save money by finding a more simple design.

Use an online tool to help you search – There are websites to help you search for apartments using specific criteria. You can use the results of the search to narrow down your list of possible apartments. Once you have a list of possibilities, you can go to each apartment complex link and send a query requesting additional information. A good reason to do this is you’ll have documentation from each place you’re interested in. Here are some questions you might want to ask:

  • Is there a security gate?
  • Do you have security patrols and how often?
  • What is included in the rental amount?

Now that you have all your responses, you should be able to make a short list of places you are very interested in. For every complex on the short list, you need to pay a visit and do the following:

1. Check to see if the area and grounds are properly maintained.

2. Ask to see a sample unit (or the actual unit) of the type you are interested in.

3. Does the place feel safe to you? Sometimes your gut instinct can be absolutely correct.

4. If you get the opportunity, talk to some current residents about the place.

5. If you’re really interested in a particular apartment, don’t take it just yet. Since renting a place is a big decision and the sales staff can be very persuasive, you may want to go home and ‘sleep on it’ before you decide.

Once you have decided on the apartment you want, be sure you read the lease in its entirety, because you don’t want to sign it and be surprised later by something you didn’t read. Also, make sure to take all the required documents with you to start the lease, such as references and proof of income. Good luck in your search.